6 Reasons to Visit Kenya
Safari, Diversity, Beach, Hotels, Ease & Tech
The celebrated game safaris are only one of many things which tempt travellers from all over the world to visit the East African Region. While Kenya, and East Africa in general, is much publicized the world over for its National Parks and Reserves, it is only in the past decade that the world has become aware of the fact that Kenya is on the forefront of some of the exemplar wildlife conservation projects in the world. The outcome of these efforts have yielded bosting results. Nowhere, perhaps, on the African Continent is the conservation effort as robust and forward looking. So much so that the acclaimed safari lodges in many of the wildlife conservancies in Kenya have come to signify much more than the safari. They are collaborative efforts with the local communities to protect the wildlife. A large portion of the revenue generated from these unique lodges goes back to support conservation. In that, the visitor to Kenya eager to experience the joy of safari can now do so meaningfully, with the future in mind, and take pleasure in making a far-reaching contribution to the wellness of wildlife and their habitats.
The second reason to visit Kenya is that it offers as much, if not more, variety in a relatively compact area than perhaps anywhere else in Africa. In many ways, Kenya is a microcosm of Africa. All of Africa in one country, with habitats that range from seashores to snow-capped peaks, the great gush of the Rift Valley, and barren desert to rainforest; each in its unique composition and character. This ecological gamut is of much interest to the traveller considering that about 80% of Kenya is classified as semi-arid, with the most fertile areas being in the central area of the country. The country north of the equator (cutting across the mid of Kenya from east to west) presents a great similarly to the country south of it, although the features to the north are on a much grander scale. North of the equator is the famed Lake Turkana, south of it the smaller Lake Logipi. East and West of Lake Turkana are more than five reserves. South of Lake Turkana is the extensive Chalbi Desert. South of the equator are the wildlife-rich Maasai plains where Masai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks lie, with the Indian Ocean on the southeast corner. What that suggests is that in a distance of 50 kms one could go from fertile farmlands, forest, scrubland onto rolling savannas. Across these varied environments are more than fifty National Parks, National Reserves and Forest Reserves. They offer the motorist with a yen for the outdoor many opportunities for exploration and interesting driving.
The third reason to visit Kenya is the fact that it has some of the most stunning beaches and coastline in all of Africa, and indeed the world. A growing number of travellers are coming to the region primarily for a holiday at the coast, with National Parks thrown in as incidentals. From Shimoni travelling northwards – with Lamu as the most northerly beach prospect – the traveller will find that Kenya’s coast has aptly been named “The Coral Coast”. A virtually continuous coral reef, with breaks at Mombasa and Malindi, runs within a mile of the shore for well over 100 miles, offering a salubrious tropical getaway. Mombasa itself, considered a useful logistic and holiday hub, has a lot to interest the travellers. It’s also a popular jump-off for fishing the waters north and south of the Island.
The fourth reason to visit Kenya is that there’s something for everyone’s lodging needs, from crawl-in tents to the most glorious safari lodges in Africa. Although some lodges are rough and ready and others quite plush, they are all, in context of locations and keeping to the local cultures, adequate. Each County of Kenya has its own architectural inclination and ambiance, and the different approach of locally inspired lodges and hotels should be a joy for the intrepid. Camping is noted where facilities are provided. Inside or near Kenya’s National Parks and Reserves, there are game lodges, sometimes called wildlife or safari lodges, but all meaning small hotels, often of striking architectural design. There are also, in many places, especially at the Mara, a great deal of tented camps (sometimes called tented lodges when the public areas are permanent or semi-permanent and when such amenities as a swimming pool are added). In some Parks, but regrettably not many, there are some self-service lodges. These are owned and run by Kenya Wildlife Service and are usually a bargain in terms of the cost per night. Self service accommodation, at the coast especially, has blossomed in the past five years, to offer more affordable and flexible alternative to the standard hotel life. Over and above that, the visitor to Kenya with a flexible schedule can drive a good bargain by arriving in the ‘low’ season, that is to avoid the months between December and March. Hotels rates in Kenya vary between visitor and resident and also by season of year – most hotels have a ‘high’ and ‘low’ season rate and may have a ‘mid’ season as well. You can be fairly sure that from the Tuesday after Easter until the first or 15th of July there will be low season rates.
The fifth reason to visit Kenya is that successive governments over the past two decades have improved Kenya’s road, airport and railway infrastructure. By the same token, the 21st Century has indeed reached Kenya by way of technology, and is certainly over-much in evidence with Kenya being one of the tech-hubs of Africa. What that translates to is that do-it-yourself holiday are now practical and relatively easy with a little advance planning. An early start from Nairobi could bring you to Mombasa in time for a sumptuous Swahili lunch at the Coast of Kenya for under USD 10 aboard the SGR Nairobi-Mombasa Railway. Then suitably fortified and by way of a hop-on hop-off tuk-tuk ride tour the sights of Mombasa. Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu along the coast are also in air contact as well as on good roads. A few days at the coast is a tonic in relaxed living, to enjoy the fascinating interests of the place. What’s more, Nairobi is air contact with Wajir, Isiolo, Homa Bay, Eldoret, Kisumu and Lodwar with regular flights.
The six reason to visit Kenya is that it has a long history of political stability and a heritage as a popular touring destination, encouraging rather than restricting travel. The infrastructure is progressive, the best it have ever been, with many modes of travel and comfortable accommodations. Whether you are in on the game safaris, potential mountain climber or nature-lover, a cultural tour is a must. In Kenya you get as warm a welcome as can be had in any part of Africa.
Kenya – The Land Out of Africa
Kenya offers mountains and deserts, rainforest, rolling grassland, colorful tribal cultures, beaches and coral reefs, islands, the Great Rift Valley and, of course, outstanding wildlife displays. Safaris have been at the core of Kenya’s tourism for decades. Kenya’s national parks are models for the world and abundant with wildlife; lions, elephants, leopards, rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, and buffaloes. Kenya is home to more than 359 different species of animals and 500 species of birds. For conservation, Kenya has set aside some 47,674 km2 in 29 National Parks, 27 Reserves, 4 Sanctuaries, and 100+ Wildlife Conservancies. It entices adventure tourists with trekking in Mount Kenya, ballooning in the Mara and scuba diving in the Indian Ocean. Other sports enthusiasts, content with less adventure, are drawn to Kenya’s golf offering. And that’s just the tip of it. There are more than 1,500 places of interest in Kenya with unrepeatable stories and experiences – from insightful cultural sites, to modern heritage and historical sites with extraordinary histories. There is a reason they call it ‘Magical Kenya’.
- Visit Kenya: 6 Reason to Visit Kenya
- Overview of the Geography of Kenya
- Climate and Agro-climatic Zones in Kenya
- How Kenya is Dealing with Climate Change
- Coast, Safaris, Fauna and Flora in Kenya
- 10 Outstanding Game Parks in Kenya
- 10 Funny Things About the Mara Migration
- 13 Unique Hotels Around Kenya
- Unique Safari Lodges in Kenya
- Climbing in Kenya – Hiking in Kenya
- 10 Funny Things About Driving in Nairobi
- Health Regulations in Kenya – Malaria
- Kenya Visa Information & Requirements
|January – Visit Nairobi National Park|
Just 7 kms from Nairobi Business District, Nairobi National Park has a splendid display of wildlife year-round, best sighted in the early mornings and evenings.
|February – Paraglide in Elgeyo Marakwet|
Between December and March the conditions are perfect for a hair raising glide over the scenically-splendid Elgeyo Escarpment and across the superb Kerio Valley.
|March – Climb Mount Kenya|
The two seasons for climbing Mount Kenya – the greatest mountaineering locale in Kenya – are during the dry season, from December to March, and July to October.
|April – Travel Up North|
Tobongu Lore, welcome back home, is a festival held in Turkana set on unifying the diverse communities in the county, promoting tourism and showcasing cultures.
|May – Birding in Kisumu|
Between April and May the large swamps around Lake Victoria become a great breeding ground for scores of bird species. The main viewing area is Dunga Beach.
|June – Go Rhino Charging|
Held in June, this off-road race, testing offlanding skills, is a great event which raises funds for conservation of endangered rhinos. It’s raced on a one-off circuit each year.
|July – Flamingos at Lake Bogoria|
Historically, the largest flocks of flamingos – in the hundreds of thousands – arrive at Lake Bogoria when the lake’s water are low: between August and early October.
|August – The Mara Migration|
Between June and August 1.5 million wildebeest and many other species arrive at Masai Mara National Reserve for the migration. It’s a wonder of the modern world.
|September – The Whale Migration|
Enjoy the Humpback Whales migration, as one of the magisterial animals in the ocean searches for warmer waters off Wasini and Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park.
|October – March for Elephants|
Global march for elephants, rhinos and lions is a yearly charity walk with the noble goal of raising awareness about the plight of wildlife, especially Africa’s iconic big-5.
|November – Rafting at Sagana|
Between April and May or November and December the rivers in Sagana have the highest levels of water – soon after the rains – and the thrills here are guaranteed.
|December – Attend Lamu Festival|
Nowhere perhaps are the exotic ways of Lamu Island better displayed than at the annual Lamu Festival held in December. This is one of Kenya’s greatest festivals.